Earlier this month, on February 3rd to be exact, I published a post here: Sitting Pretty on a Shelf in a Bookshop, to tell the world about the fact that one of Britain’s 50 best independent bookshops, The Bookcase (Lowdham, Nottingham, UK) is currently stocking my debut historical memoir, Sliding on the Snow Stone.
In doing so, I unintentionally opened up a debate about books – specifically whether readers prefer eBooks or ‘real’ books. Several visitors to my blog read the post and made comment, some expressing preferences, others with general observations. Some strong opinions came forth, and it developed into a lively discussion. Many expressed their affection for ‘real’ books, but one or two swept away that sentimentality by pointing out the versatility of eBooks.
I tried to analyse the comments to come up with a score, which wasn’t easy because the discussion sometimes veered off down different avenues, but by applying a measure of even-handedness, I reckon it was roughly 17 to 12 in favour of ‘real’ books.
But, I thought it would be interesting to take it a stage further and poll more visitors to this blog and extend the debate, if possible. After all, with the digital age taking over our lives in so many respects, do we embrace the eBook, or do we remain sentimental about the ‘magic’ of ‘real’ books? With eBooks now carving away a large slice of the book market, do we, as writers and readers, need to accept eBooks or remain true to ‘real’ books?
If I was on a desert island, an eBook would give me a whole library to read – until the battery ran out. Then I’d be left with nothing. But a ‘real’ book would remain – and I guess it would have to be a ‘Complete Works of . . .’ to keep me sane.
So, to further this research, please complete the following poll, and feel free to ‘share’ it so a wide range of votes can be collected. Comments are welcome of course.